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Pregame Your New Year’s Resolution: Make Positive Changes Now

Why wait until New Year’s Day to be a better person?

By Brian Nguyen

Every New Year, people plan to make better choices in their lives. But the best choice you can make now is to do something good for others.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Arash Shahangian of Leap Forward Therapy in Irvine says that making other people feel good sets off a chain reaction in our brains.

“When people do a kind act it triggers a set of positive neural chemical responses. Essentially, it makes you feel good to do good things,” Shahangian said.

“It may temporarily continue the positive state you are in and you may become resilient to stress. This increases self-respect and self-esteem when we view ourselves as a good person,” he said.


Here are five ways you can improve yourself and the world around you before finals are finished.

1. Practice gratitude enthusiastically and as often as possible

It makes tasks easier, interactions smoother, and life circumstances feel much better. Keeping a gratitude journal can be an important part of this practice.

2. Share your appreciation and give genuine compliments

People enjoy being around people who appreciate them.

3. Perform random acts of kindness regularly

It feels good to do something nice for someone, and it boosts our self-esteem and self-respect.

4. Connect with others

Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, human beings (as well as most mammals) are wired for connection, as research on attachment indicates. It is a primal need. So ask a friend for coffee or plan a study date.

5. Fail boldly and often

Success is impossible without failure. The best learning and growth comes from making mistakes and falling short. Set an example for others by accepting failure and learning from it.

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